The federal Environmental Protection Agency has reached agreement with one of Alaska’s largest shipping companies, providing a conditional waiver for new fuel standards while Totem Ocean Trailer Express converts to cleaner-burning fuel.
The announcement comes two days after rules took effect requiring that cargo carriers and cruise ships use a low-sulfur fuel within 200 miles of U.S. and Canadian shores. Alaska has sued, saying the rules will lead to higher freight rates and pricier cruises that will hurt the state’s economy.
The EPA, which is working with the U.S. Coast Guard, has said the agencies are aware of Alaska’s concerns and have some flexibility in implementing the rules.
The EPA says once the conversion is complete, in 2016, Totem’s vessels will achieve significantly higher emission reductions than required.
- The Juneau Assembly declined to pass a broaden sales tax exemption for seniors. Opposition from businesses prodded elected officials to refer the initiative back to committee.
- Fines for pet owners whose for critters scooped up by animal control officers have gone up. The fees hadn't been adjusted for nearly 17 years.
- Local education officials are applying for state money to replace and repair leaky roofs at several Juneau schools. About $5 million is coming in over the next five years earmarked for school maintenance from sales tax money that voters approved in the Oct. 3 election.
- "They’re calling it GTA, grand theft Anchorage, right now," said Rep. Lora Reinbold, who says she wants to repeal Senate Bill 91. "It’s outrageous, what’s going on in the city that I love.”